Q Do you know what the long-range planning is for the pavement on Interstate 580 between Oakland and Hayward? The freeway is still mostly in good shape, but the potholes that get filled in are usually done with asphalt and with time it creates a bumpy ride since the asphalt doesn't stay flat. I'm pretty sure the surface is the original surface from when 580 opened years ago. It has held up well since trucks are usually not allowed on 580.
Also, does Caltrans prefer concrete or asphalt as the material for freeways? I know concrete holds up a lot longer and better then asphalt, but asphalt is quieter and about half the cost.
A A lot is planned. The freeway will undergo a concrete slab replacement and repaving from Fruitvale to I-80 later this year. Then in 2015, the ramps will be done in the same stretch. In 2017 or so, I-580 through San Leandro will be worked on. All this work will be with concrete.
Q There's construction at Dixon Landing Road at Interstate 880. Will there be a road connecting Fremont Boulevard and McCarthy Road?
A Sure will. The extension of Fremont Boulevard to the south will tie into the north end of McCarthy at Dixon Landing. Work could be completed this summer.
Q The construction on Interstate 680 through Danville is progressing nicely. Are there plans to replace the surface from Pleasanton to Sunol? This section of road is like driving off road!
A Nothing major is planned anytime soon.
Q My concern is about 511. Is 511 only voice-activated to get roadside help? Because of larynx cancer, I can only talk at a whisper with no tone in my voice. People without voices need help also.
A All of the services and information available on 511 can be accessed by speech-impaired and hearing-impaired travelers by dialing 711, the national three-digit number for access to Telecommunication Relay Services. Just ask the operator to connect you to 511.
Once connected, the 711 operator will act as a go-between, relaying callers' requests for travel information to the 511 system and then providing system responses back to the callers.
Q Gary, as many others have pointed out, the dips on Interstate 280 near Foothill Expressway are a real hazard. Surely a temporary fix is justified here, before somebody is maimed or killed? So it wouldn't last! Repair it again! Anything rather than let a potential disaster sit for a whole year getting worse all the time! ... Shouldn't Caltrans post warning and slow-down signs if it can't fix them immediately?
Alex McKeon, Chuck Jacobson, John Luebben, Anita Goldwasser, Paul Barrish and more
A Yes, it should, and this could happen soon. State safety engineers will be out this week to review the area and decide what temporary repairs should be made. They want warmer nights for a permanent patch to adhere and not gush out as soon as a tire hits it.
Q At the BART station in Millbrae, there are tubes in the center of the station over a floor sculpture that have been in place now for several years. It's not clear if this is temporary or permanent. It's like the marble they put in the center of the station was too slippery and they don't want people to fall.
A The tubes are meant to temporarily prevent people from walking across the sculpture laid in the floor of a walking area. Station agents are concerned that when there is moisture from fog or rain, it makes the sculpture too slippery, so to be extra cautious they put these tubes up. They do this despite the fact that the sculpture meets the measured traction standards set by BART.
Q A few weeks ago, at the corner of Elm and Cherry streets in San Carlos, I witnessed something awesome. A person in a wheelchair was crossing Elm Street while pulling a rolling suitcase. Someone in a truck stopped, turned on their emergency flashers, got out and helped this person across the street -- just like in the Dignity Health commercial. I was so stunned as I passed, that I didn't notice if this was a man or a woman. There really are some decent human beings out there.
A Yes, there are.